Everyday that goes by, the lies and the feverish imagination of Chavez and his cronies takes us to new heights in their imaginary wonderland that supposedly Venezuela has become:
- Chavez used his double speak the other day in Tokyo when he said it would be hard to find a kid going hungry in Venezuela, if not impossible. He never made it clear whether he was talking about today or the future. He made use a of a tense that confused you and then talked about statistics and the long road ahead. He obviously does not know. After all, if it took him five years to see the Sambil Mall being built ten blocks from his Presidential palace, he will not see the kids begging or living in cardboard boxes all over the city.
- And in another imaginary leap into his own fantaay world, Chavez said in Tokyo that the Japanese would spend US$ 33.5 billion in Venezuela. Of course, none of this was confirmed by the Japanese, who only said they had signed a couple of agreements to study the possibility of working in the Orinoco Oil belt.
- Then Chavez’ oil crony Minister of Oil and Energy Rafael Ramirez, said in Vienna that Venezuela produces approximately 800,000 barrels of oil from the Orinoco Oil belt. Hard to believe, given that the four heavy crude projects nationalized by Chavez only had capacity for 600,000 barrels of oil a day of production and 520,000 barrels of upgrading and there has been no investemnt by PDVSA in them. Moreover, it is precisely these projects that have been forced to cut production to try to abide by the OPEC quotas. In addition, the Cerro Negro (now Petromonagas) facility shut down an in January taking out 120,000 barrels a day. Thus, between cuts and shutdowns, the number seems to be closer to 300,000 barrels a day.
- And everyone was quite incredulous to find out that inflation in March only went up a scant 1.5% in March. Particularly, the Government reports that Food and Beverages was flat for the month, which made all consumers laugh, whether pro or against Chavez. This Food and Beverages is a hilarious scam, most “beverages” are up 100% since the beginning of the year, but the Central Bank seems to be making certain that it does not show. I guess soon we will not even belive international reserves numbers emanating from the Central Bank.
- And while Venezuela claims there are 200-plus drilling rigs active in the country, Baker Hughes reported that last month the number of active rigs, dropped from 69 to 63, making the promise of an extra 200,000 barrels per day in new production for 2009, much harder to fullfil.
- And Chavez taked about the Chinese refinery assuring us that its constructionhad already started. However, Veneconomy reports that the refinery did not get its enviromental permits and the project was moved to a different city, implying a delay of at least two years.
- And, of course, there will be no devaluation, but CADIVI is giving out less and less and forcing people to import at the parallel swap rate near bs. 6 per US$.
- And Jesse Chacon was appointed both Minister of Communications and Minister of Science and Technology. The former Minister of Science was fired over her failure with the Chinese satellite and some inappropriate comments she made in Iran. Chavez just sent her packing from Teheran. Naming Chacon to the position appears to be revenge (or poetic justice?) for naming Mathematician Merentes to the Ministry of Finance a few years ago. Chacon knows about Science and Technology roughly as much as Merentes knows about finance: ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. Chavez could care less, everything is just peachy in both the economy and science and technology in Venezuela, he is in charge of them both, even if he knows less than everyone…